Caleb Williams NFL draft scouting report, rankings, stats

ByESPN Staff ESPN logo
Thursday, April 11, 2024

Former USC quarterback Caleb Williams is expected to be the picked No. 1 overall by the Chicago Bearsin the 2024 NFL draft. The 6-foot-1, 214-pound passer threw 72 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in his two seasons with the Trojans, winning the 2022 Heisman Trophy. He added 21 rushing touchdowns over that time frame.

Williams is ranked No. 1 overall in the ESPN consensus rankings ahead of the 2024 draft. Here's how draft experts Mel Kiper Jr., Matt Miller, Steve Muench from Scouts Inc., Jordan Reid and Field Yates rank him in this class, along with their scouting reports:

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Caleb Williams scouting report and rankings

No. 1 overall, No. 1 QB: Kiper, Miller, Scouts Inc., Yates

Kiper: The Trojans struggled at the end of the regular season, losing five of their last six games, but it wasn't Williams' fault. There's a reason why defensive coordinator Alex Grinch was fired. Williams threw 30 touchdown passes to just five interceptions. He had a really tough game against Notre Dame, when he threw three of those picks, but he bounced back and played really well. He also surpassed his rushing touchdowns total from the previous season, finishing with 11.

Williams is a fabulous playmaker, and there are "wow" throws all over his tape, even going back to his freshman season at Oklahoma. He's incredible escaping the pocket and making off-platform throws, excelling when plays break down. His improvisational skills are off the charts -- it's incredible how he can make the first defender miss and create first downs out of thin air. He has great field vision and throws dimes to receivers while under duress. He's incredibly creative, which is not something we can usually say of quarterbacks.

Now, Williams is not the prototypical passer in terms of size. At 6-1, he'd be below-average for a starting NFL quarterback. But as we saw with 2023 No. 1 overall pickBryce Young, size matters less and less to the execs making decisions in front offices.

Miller: Williams is an elite prospect with upper-level arm strength, running ability, field vision and poise. There are times when he forces passes, and he'll have to get the ball out faster in the NFL, but he has shown he can carry a team and create big plays with his second-effort mobility, diverse arm angles and arm talent. Williams finished 11th in QBR last season (82.4) and threw for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdown passes and five interceptions. He is the overwhelming favorite to go first overall in April.

Muench: Williams' elite improvisational talent, arm strength and ability to pick defenses apart from within the pocket set him apart from the rest of the 2024 class. He has the footspeed to evade pass-rushers in tight spaces and the strength to break would-be tackles. His ability to extend plays, adjust his arm angle and make accurate off-platform throws puts great stress on defenses on each snap. Williams is also a patient pocket passer who gets through his progressions given time and space. He presses and tries to make too much happen on some plays but has rare playmaking instincts; he can get away with some questionable decisions.

Yates: Williams is dynamic, creative and accurate, with the ceiling to become a 10-plus-year starter in the NFL. His ability to dodge pressure, extend and throw accurately on second-reaction plays is exceptional. He accounted for a total of 93 touchdowns over the past two seasons and won the Heisman Trophy in 2022 after throwing 42 touchdown passes that year.

No. 2 overall, No. 1 QB: Reid

Reid: Williams hasn't wavered as my QB1 in this class. I see a lot of "wow" moments on tape, a product of his confidence in his arm and terrific playmaking ability. He's capable of dissecting defensive looks and delivering the ball quickly. But on the flip side, his all-or-nothing habits will need to be tempered, as he tends to want the highlight-worthy play rather than just taking what the defense gives him too often. Williams finished the season with a 72.9% completion percentage on throws from inside the pocket (fifth-best in the FBS).

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